Ahsoka Season 2 Could Resolve Star Wars' Most Intriguing Conflict

The key to defeating the galaxy’s biggest threat may lie where you least expect it.

Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn in Ahsoka

The first season of Ahsoka primed Lars Mikkelsen’s Grand Admiral Thrawn as the next great threat to the Star Wars galaxy. As the series takes place between Star Wars’ original trilogy and its sequels, however, we know the Imperial strategist will be defeated, and sooner rather than later. That said, we don’t yet know how he’s defeated, and that’s what makes Thrawn’s jump from the non-canon Legends timeline to official animation and live-action so interesting.

Ahsoka creator Dave Filoni has been coy about Thrawn’s future. He hasn’t yet revealed when fans can expect to see him next, or how he’ll factor into Filoni’s upcoming Star Wars film, but it’s clear Thrawn is being positioned as a Thanos-type figure, a villain who will inspire heroes from every corner of the galaxy to rally against him. Per Filoni, though, the key to Thrawn’s undoing may lie in with one of the saga’s most underrated characters: Rebels alum Hera Syndulla.

Hera Syndulla didn’t get much time to shine in Ahsoka Season 1, but with Thrawn’s return she could take on a much bigger role.


Ahsoka served as a reunion for many characters introduced in Rebels. Apart from Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano, animated characters like Ezra Bridger, Sabina Wren, and Hera jumped into live-action. Ahsoka continues almost exactly where Rebels left off: though the Empire has been defeated and democracy restored, the New Republic is still dealing with the Imperial Remnant, and Hera is one of the few sounding the alarm about Thrawn’s return.

Hera might also be the most qualified to face Thrawn in the future. “His foil throughout Rebels was Hera,” Filoni recently told Empire. “Pitting the two generals against one another is something that I find interesting.”

A showdown between these two generals certainly has a precedent, as Thrawn expressed an affinity for Hera’s Rylothian culture throughout Rebels. He also admired Hera’s resolve, recognizing her as a potential equal. Being a loyal servant of the Empire, though, he often acknowledged that admiration in dubious ways: occupying Hera’s homeworld, stealing prized family heirlooms in the interest of “historic preservation,” and imprisoning or murdering everyone she’s ever loved. Hera has every reason to hate Thrawn, and by the time we meet her again in Ahsoka, it’s clear she hasn’t let any of that go.

Rebels was always building towards a showdown between Hera and Thrawn.


Hera gave as good as she got in Rebels’ Battle of Lothal, where she commanded the Rebel forces against Thrawn’s Imperial might. She made Thrawn’s defeat, and eventual exile into a far-off galaxy, a possibility. She’s much more capable than many fans — and some characters — give her credit for. Fortunately, Filoni understands her potential better than most: as one of the creators of Rebels, he laid the groundwork for most of Hera’s big moments with Thrawn. He’s also set the stage for a rematch, one we could see soon.

When Thrawn eventually unleashes his new armies on the New Republic, Hera will likely be at the center of the battle. It’s been a long time coming, but Rebels’ most underrated character may finally get the hero moment she deserves. Hera’s story has been building to this for years, and it will be difficult to downplay her capability in the future.

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